Addressing the approaching revolution in particle physics

August 11, 2005

Brussels, 10 Aug 2005

An approaching revolution in the understanding of the most basic physical laws governing the Universe will bring some 600 physicists and engineers to an intensive two-week workshop in Snowmass, Colorado, US from 14 to August.

The global particle physics community has proposed designing and building a new particle accelerator, the International Linear Collider (ILC). The ILC would have the potential to address such fundamental scientific issues as the origin of mass, the nature of dark matter and dark energy, the existence of extra dimensions, and the joining of nature's disparate forces into a single unified force.

At the '2005 International Linear Collider (ILC) physics and detectors workshop and the second ILC accelerator workshop', scientists from Asia, Europe and North America will collaborate on the science and technology behind the proposed next-generation particle accelerator.

'Discoveries at the next generation of particle accelerators will fundamentally change our current picture of the universe,' said physicist Barry Barish, director of the Global Design Effort (GDE) for the ILC. 'The Snowmass workshop will focus the combined efforts of hundreds of scientists from around the world on all aspects of the proposed ILC. It will be a key step in forging the worldwide effort to design a machine that will address the greatest mysteries of the Universe at a cost the world can afford.'

The proposed ILC and the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), an accelerator now under construction at CERN, the European Centre for Nuclear Research, in Geneva, Switzerland, would create particle collisions at Tera-electron-volt energies, beyond the reach of today's accelerators.

Working in concert with the LHC, experiments at the ILC would allow physicists to explore a region of ultrahigh energies where they expect to observe phenomena that will answer many of their most profound questions.

At Snowmass, physicists will work on various issues - from the cost of civil construction to the design of accelerating structures and particle detectors - which must be resolved in order to determine whether and when the proposed ILC could become a reality.

The ILC would consist of two linear accelerators, each approximately 20 kilometres long, hurling beams of electrons and their antimatter twins, positrons, toward each other at nearly the speed of light. From its inception, the ILC would be designed, funded, managed and operated as an international scientific project.

By the end of the two-week workshop, scientists hope to be one step closer to building the new accelerator that they believe will work in concert with CERN's LHC to reveal many of the universe's best-kept secrets.

The European Commission has participated in the funding of the Snowmass workshop, together with other national agencies, ministries, laboratories and universities from all around the world.

For further information, please consult the following web address:

CORDIS RTD-NEWS / © European Communities
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